Friday, May 12, 2017

Lessons From My Mom

Sunday is Mother's Day and every blogger I know will have some post about their mom and/or Mother's Day. And why not? We love our mothers and it's only natural that we take time to honor them in the best way we know how - blogging about them! Some will post gift guides, some will post a letter to other mothers. Others, like me, will post what we have learned from our moms. And it's all good. All those posts are needed and read by many around the world. If I know my mom, the best gift I could give her is nothing tangible, nothing I can buy. It's to let her know that everything she's done was for a reason. That it worked. And that I get it.

Here's what I learned from Robin.

You can be whatever you want, but you have to work for it.
In my life, I have wanted to be many things: an author, a geneticist (weird, I know), a journalist, a publisher, a project manager. Who knows what it will be next. And whatever I have I wanted to do, sh's gone with it. She did what she could to give me every opportunity to make that dream happen. When I wanted to be a geneticist, she moved me from private school to public school where there was more funding in science. She gave me whatever I needed to accomplish what I wanted, but it was always up to me to get there. She's listened to many a meltdown and cheered at many softball games and graduations. I always knew I had her support, but it was also never a secret that she expected me to do the work.

Believe in yourself.
My mom has always believed in me enough for me and her, but always made sure that I believed in myself, too. She did this in the best way - she believed in herself. She went back to grad school in her fifties because that was the next step in her goals.

Math is important.
This one is particularly entertaining to me. As a writer and former English major, I have loathed math most of my life. I'm good at it, I just don't like it. Mom made sure that I took all the math I could in high school. Threatened to take my car and other things away if I didn't. She didn't have any control over what I did in college and grad school. She said that one day I would appreciate it. Before my recent title change at work, I was a Fiscal Program Accountant, so I think she knew what she was talking about.

Love hard and always strive to be the better friend.
I've heard her say, "They're mine" about someone many times. It usually is the reasoning for whatever she has done for that person. She's said it about her friends, family, students that she works with. If you are hers, she looks out for you and takes care of you. She will go to the ends of the earth for you. She has been Mamma D to many of my friends and even current students now. I want, and try, to be that person for my friends and family, too. I want to be the one that you know you can call and I'll be there. Because she is.

You're beautiful as you are.
This was never a question in my life, whether or not my mom thought I was beautiful. At my largest or my skinniest, weakest or strongest, she has always told me I was beautiful and I've never had a reason not to be believe her. She never hid food from me when I was chunky kid, never tried to put me on a diet. For a brief moment when I lost my mind and wanted to be in pageant (that last about 5 minutes by the way), she was ready to go. And because of that, even when I hit my highest weight last year, I still didn't question if I was beautiful. Because she had always told me I was, so I believed it.  

God is good.
I've watched my mom go through some hard situations. Work, family, losing parents, parents-in-law. Never once did she question God, did she lose faith. She just hunkered down and prayed harder. That came from her mom.

There are many other things I've learned from her. How to run in high heels. How to make chicken casserole and macaroni cheese. How to read music and find the alto part. How to be okay driving 12 hours by yourself with a kid to visit your family. How to find the good parts in crappy situations. I am very much my own person, but about 75% of my mouth and personality come from Robin. So today, I thank her for what she's taught me and hope that one day, I'm loved half as much as she is.

My favorite wedding shot of us. Photo by Carolina Media Star